Give your drab Home app a spiffy remodel with HomePaper

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HomePaper for HomeKit lets you customize the Home app.
HomePaper lets you quickly give the boring Home app a fresh coat of paint.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

New app HomePaper for HomeKit lets you quickly customize the look of Apple’s notoriously bland-looking Home app — with zero hassles.

With the app, you simply select a photo from your iPhone or iPad camera or take a new one. Then you can quickly adjust the color(s) and make your own customized wallpaper for the Home app. There’s no fussing around with a complicated image editor or painstaking resizing required.

Here’s how to use HomePaper, which runs on iPhone and iPad, to give your Home app the remodel it deserves.

Make custom wallpapers for Apple’s Home app

HomePaper for HomeKit has a simple user interface. It makes it easy to create custom wallpapers for Apple's Home app .
HomePaper’s simple user interface makes it easy to create custom wallpapers for the Home app.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Setup

First, you need to get everything set up. Download HomePaper from the App Store. It’s free to try, but that only gets you one wallpaper.

Once downloaded, open the HomePaper app. If you use the Home app on both iPhone and iPad, go to Settings. Under App Settings, select Generate for iPad. Then HomePaper will produce two versions of the wallpaper — one optimized for each device. If you own only one device, you can skip this step.

Pick your image

Still in the HomePaper app, tap the photos icon in the upper left corner. Tap Photo Library to use an existing photo or Camera to take a new one. A portion of the image you select will appear in the upper right of the wallpaper you’re creating, tastefully monochromatic to blend in with the color gradient you select in the next step.

Tweak the colors and opacity

Now it’s time to adjust the color of the wallpaper. The easiest option is to select a color gradient by tapping the icon with the four squares, then tapping to pick a favorite.

If you want to go deeper, you can create your own gradient. Two circles separated by arrows let you select the colors you want at the top and bottom of your wallpaper. Tap one of the circles, and you will see three ways to select the perfect color: Grid, Spectrum and Sliders. Each option offers an intuitive way to select the color you want for your starting point. Use the Opacity slider at the bottom to select the perfect level of translucence.

Play around with the image, and the colors and opacity, until you get just the look you want. Once you get everything sorted out, simply tap the export icon in the lower left corner of the HomePaper app. An “Exported!” message will let you know the app added your wallpaper to your Photos library.

Add your custom wallpaper to the Home app

Now it’s time to install your new Home app wallpaper. Open the Home app and go to the tab for the room you want to change up. On that tab, tap the Home icon in the upper left, then tap Room Settings from the popup. Under Room Wallpaper, select Choose from Existing. Under Photos, tap Recents. The custom wallpaper you just created will be waiting for you in your photo library. Tap the freshly created wallpaper, then tap Set. Finally, tap Done to see how it looks in the Home app.

Why customize the Home app?

If you’re one of the hordes of people furiously tweaking your iPhone’s Home screen in iOS 14, you already know that giving your device a custom look is its own reward.

I find using different wallpaper colors for each room makes it easier to navigate the Home app. Adding a portrait of a housemate to indicate their bedroom, or a snap of your awesome Mac setup to designate your office, will give the sterile Home app a personal, lived-in feel.

HomePaper for HomeKit is free to try. However, that only gets you one wallpaper export. If you like it, a 99-cent in-app purchase unlocks unlimited exports.

And while you’re in the App Store, check out HomeRun — one of our favorite Apple Watch apps — and the other HomeKit-related apps from HomePaper’s developer, Pearce Media Limited. It’s all quality stuff.

Price: Free, with in-app purchase

Download from: App Store (iOS)